This post is dedicated to my good friend Nayana Somaratna.
Very often I am asked by people - 'Why do you Facebook, Tweet and Blog so much? Don't you have any work? Have your businesses shut down? etc etc'
Well, Nayana raised this topic is a slightly different discussion here, but the answer is the same.
Since I want to honor him, I have decided to call the explanation the RAVAN Conspiracy (Nayana is from Sri Lanka, and I am personally very smitten by Ravan. Remember also that Ravan attained Nirvana by getting himself killed by Rama. So he attained his goal).
So, what is the RAVAN Conspiracy ??
R - Reality.
For me, Facebook is REALITY. Take for example Nayana himself. I was piling some gyaan at a conference a couple of years back and Nayana came to me and asked ' Are you Rodinhood'? That's the first and only day we met. But just look at the way we have interacted!
Yesterday, at a concert, I met Anand Dhople whom I had never met before. We connected on facebook and then exchanged seat numbers and met yesterday.
Facebook and the other Social media platforms actually expose me to a REALITY that I would never enjoy and experience in the real world!
I go to ANY CITY in the world and I have a real friend to MEET - with whom I share some background, post etc. That's HUGE for me, specially since I otherwise live a very strict - Home - Office - Home life!
A - Ask
I shamelessly ASK anything and everything on my social media. And the answers and results I get are STUNNING!
I fill up vacancies, get to know which hotel to stay in Pondicherry, close on a 20k Camera, understand how to implement G+ code etc etc etc via my asking.
I cannot begin and end in explaining HOW MUCH Social Media helps me in my Business. My friends check and play my games, I get Industry contacts and everything just happens when I request!
This is ALSO why I 'friend' anyone and everyone. To me, everyone is someone I can learn and benefit something from!
It helps to have 12k friends 22k friends (combined count of FB/Twitter/Linkedin and others). Ask them anything and you get a reply!!
V - Voice
The Social Network is my VOICE. My belief is that by SHARING my experiences and gyaan (some people hate it and call me all sorts of names and think I am 'dhoongi (false) etc) , but honestly - I DONT CARE.
I think that my Contribution to Society is not going to be anything significant via donations or building schools and hospitals (I am too kunjoos to do so also ) but via KNOWLEDGE SHARING.
My belief if that I can help Entrepreneurs BLOOM - then that will create much more properity and hapiness than anything else. For that I need a VOICE - and social media allows that.
I mean how else can you brand yourself 'Rodinhood', create blogs and social communities and get noticed? All this is less than 2 years???!!!
In March 2010, I was invited to speak at Harvard Business School thanks to my Rodinhood blog that had noticed there!
A - AWARE
I am a spiritual hippie. I SEEK to be AWARE.
Social Media - the more and merrier - fulfils that desire in me. So many times I get into fights with people and then get a good drubbing. Often, I say something that expresses my 'internal' blossoming and its facebook and other platforms that DRIVE ME sometimes to be aware. THE INTROSPECTION Social Media provides is a meditation.
My one sided and very anal stand on Anna Hazare taught me to be aware of things and situations and realities that I have never thought of before via others peoples sharp criticism of what I wrote.
I live in a very cozy, comfortable, cocooned Ivory Tower in South Mumbai. My social media interactions have made me AWARE of the other realities in the real world.
N - NEW
I am 42 years old. I meet school friends, college batchmates and other peers who look like they are 60.
My personal belief is that Social Media keeps me NEW
It makes me feel like I am reborn everyday because of the sheer velocity of NEWNESS that I encounter in my feeds, walls etc.
I get a NEW opportunity to say something, meet someone and just share something NEW every day.
So, behind every wannabe businessman - there is a VC :-)
Now, ALL THIS BS would not be possible if I was NOT ALLOWED AND TOLERATED by my Venture Capitalist - Sumant Mandal who allows me to take a nice hefty salary and yet spend so much time on all these social media activities. In fact Sumant INSPIRED ME To start Rodinhood.
Finally you also have the real secret of why I get away with all of this...
"How many cup of tea you had with a stranger this week" also defines the growth of your business. May be How many new friend requests you get and how many people interact with you on social media should also be added a metrics to the business growth (Relationships after all).
I have just been a rodinhood few days ago and really felt that i was missing out on the 3 i's i.e. Information, Issues, Interest. And after reading the above msg by Alok, my 3 i's got one more " i " i.e. "Intelligence".
Excellent one Alok.
i just read this http://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriabarret/2012/07/12/ceos-afraid-o... and remembered this post of yours - i call it the ravan post!!!!
these dudes need to learn some ravan gyaan from you :)
Read the article , but I think the research done by them is incomplete. They have stated the fact that the senior exec are not on facebook etc but without sparing a thought on the why part of it. He has made a good point on why they should be on social media but nothing about possible reasons why they are not.
Wonderful ... :)
Firstly am always impressed by whatever you have to say & express via ur blogs, & yes i have been a kinda "Detractor" of yours, when i met you first & got to know you thru Rodinhood ( yes !! we have met.)
But what you are doing is a fab thing with this community ( Rodinhood ) & your blogs & social media activeness, to end it - If you are not mis-understood at start may be you are doing something very ordinary - & you my friend are definitely doing something EXTRAORDINARY...
Interesting post , with the same goal of awareness and to be in the present , I had deactivated my facebook account few months ago. I was finding it a hindrance , with seeing so much information about different people from past and present which I really don't want to know.
My view on the RAVANA
Reality - My reality is my present moment. Spending time on face-book with anticipation of it creating better experiences for me is missing the point.
Ask - Yes facebook and social media have a huge advantage in asking for help. People contribute willingly from their experiences which is wonderful.
Voice - I have limited my quench for voicing and sharing gyaan on rodinhoods. Facebook made me impulsive.
Aware - I have never felt more aware and in the moment. Facebook disrupted my silence within. Yes expressing is an important need but I thought facebook led to lot of unnecessary talking and unconscious involvement.
NEW - Quiet an opposite experience for me. Facebook made me feel irrelevant lot of times. for me newness is just a by product of being aware in the present moment. for me No external factors can influence me to feel new.
No ways trying to say that Alok is wrong , Infact my first 'reaction' was to consider going back to facebook :) But gave it a pause and then this is the response....just a different path of awareness based on the person I am.